Highlights from the Applied AI for Distributors Conference

  • The conference fostered an engaging and educational atmosphere, promoting collaborative learning about data and AI challenges.
  • Personal interactions were highly valued, with practical demonstrations like using ChatGPT for everyday tasks.
  • Technology advances exponentially faster than organizations can adapt, highlighting the need for patience with AI errors compared to human errors.
  • Despite technical issues, the workshop emphasized the importance of flexibility and using multiple tools for sales tasks in distribution.
  • Practical tips on data security were shared, including incentivizing quick reporting of lost phones to protect business data.
  • Insights on transitioning from off-the-shelf software to in-house solutions, emphasizing the benefits of composable architecture and AI integration for growth.
  • ProfitOptics’ 'Care' application uses AI to improve response times in customer service, while the 'Adapt' tool handles document parsing for customizable order entry solutions. Custom GPTs enhance quote turnaround, product matching, and internal documentation, but are currently underutilized by distributors.
  • The workshop focuses on composable architecture and AI fit, providing hands-on activities to build a prompt engineering library and custom GPTs for specific business improvements.
  • Visit www.buildbetterwork.ai to learn more about leveraging Gen AI for better business solutions and connect with ProfitOptics for further assistance.

On this week’s People Powered Tech podcast, powered by Profit Optics, Nick Pericle, recaps his time at Distribution Strategy Group's Applied AI for Distributors Conference in Chicago with our VP of Digital Strategy and Design, Nathan Henry. Here are a few key takeaways from our Podcast episode.

Conference Highlights

Engaging Energy and Educational Value

Nathan Henry: "The energy was infectious and the education was strong. Talking about data and AI and challenges that people are having created a collegiate environment to learn and share collaboratively.” 

The Value of One-on-One Conversations

Nick Pericle: "My favorite part of the conference were one-on-one conversations. For example, someone asked us to show basic ways to use gen AI. We pulled up ChatGPT and demonstrated some cool things, like estimating the number of mints in a bowl."

Martex Law and AI Expectations

Nick Pericle: "Zach Kass mentioned Martex Law, which states that technology changes exponentially fast, but organizations change logarithmically. This means tech advances faster than organizations are ready to accept it. Another highlight was that we have a high threshold for human error but a virtual zero threshold for machine error."

Nathan Henry: "So true. We will give grace to humans because of our humanity, but the machines must always be correct."

Notable Presentations

Paul Bear's Gen AI Workshop

Nick Pericle: "Paul Bear from GI Insights shared prompts and ways to think through tasks a sales rep in distribution would work through. Despite ChatGPT going down during his session, it highlighted the need for flexibility and having multiple tools at hand."

Teresa Payton on Data Security

Nick Pericle: "Teresa Payton, a former White House CIO, shared practical tips for data security. One memorable story was about incentivizing White House staff to report lost phones quickly by providing them with a new phone on the same day."

Nathan Henry: "It's important to remember that protecting business data is crucial, even if it’s not 'nuclear secrets.' Simple things like client contacts on your phone can put your business at risk."

Brian Walker from Grainger

Nick Pericle: "Brian Walker from Grainger spoke about their journey from using commercial off-the-shelf software to upgrading their enterprise architecture and building software in-house. His insights on composable architecture and AI fit were particularly resonant."

Nathan Henry: "Even if you’re a small distributor, thinking of yourself as an IT company can help you drive growth and profitability."

Practical Applications of AI

Enhancing Customer Service

Nick Pericle: "During the conference, we shared ProfitOptics’ 'Care' application, which allows customer service reps to use AI for parsing customer information and improving response times. The AI engine learns from the reps’ inputs and becomes more efficient over time."

Streamlining Order Entry

Nick Pericle: "We also shared ProfitOptics’ 'Adapt' tool is another powerful application. It can handle document parsing for order entry, offering modular solutions that can be customized to different distributor needs."

Leveraging Custom GPTs

Nick Pericle: "Custom GPTs have untapped potential. They can significantly improve quote turnaround times, product matching, and internal documentation. Less than 10% of distributors use them, but they offer incredible value."

Nathan Henry: "Custom GPTs can be tailored to your business logic, helping you unlock untapped potential and drive efficiency."

Introducing the Build Better Work with Gen AI Workshop

Principles and Practical Applications

At the DSG Applied AI conference, Nick premiered ProfitOptics’ new gen AI Workshop solution

Nick Pericle: "Our workshop focuses on two principles: composable architecture and AI fit. We provide hands-on activities to build a prompt engineering library and custom GPTs, helping you identify areas for improvement without needing to overhaul your entire system."

Nathan Henry: "You’ll leave with solutions that can solve time problems, order entry issues, and data challenges. Plus, you’ll have a partner to help you along your AI journey."

How to Get Involved

Visit us at www.buildbetterwork.ai to learn more. We’re excited to share our knowledge and help you build better work with Gen AI.


Thanks for joining us on this Applied AI for Distributors Conference recap. We’re passionate about using AI to drive better work and can’t wait to see how these insights help you in your business. Connect with us on our website or LinkedIn to learn more about how ProfitOptics is helping distributors build better work by getting started with GenAI now.

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